Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I’ve been alone with a serial killer in my house . . . seriously

In response to the 12 things about me post, here is the story.

Growing up, there was a boogey man in Wichita whose first victims were down the street from my grandmother’s house.  A monster had been born that would strangle his victim’s near the point of death, revive them, then start over again.  This went on for 12 years while a game of cat and mouse progressed between the police and the murderer they dubbed the BTK.  The BTK (short for Bind, Torture, and Kill) went silent in 1977 after his 7th victim was found.    Rumors were that he moved away, had been imprisoned for another crime, or simply died.

Three more victims were killed in 1985, 1986, and 1991 but were later linked.

I lived in Park City, Kansas in a small two bedroom rental house.  A friend and I rented the place, but recently had some issues with a hot water heater threatening to explode and a couple of landlords not willing to fix it.  The hot water heater leaked and sounded like a shotgun going off inside a giant beer can any time it was used.

So we called the Park City Compliance officer.  I met him home alone about mid day.  He didn’t speak much and looked at the issues of the house.  He said we had a good case against the home owners and would write up his inspection.  I’m normally a chatty person and remember him being rather distant.
The owners were furious that we called the Compliance Officer and kept saying how he wouldn’t leave them alone now that we had reported the problems they refused to fix.  We ended up taking the landlords to court, only to find out the paperwork was never filed by the compliance officer.

Several years later, BTK started “talking” to the media and police.  Certain trophies from crime scenes showed up with cryptic puzzles, newspaper clippings, and clues.   A 3 ¼” floppy disk was sent that broke the case.  Police were able to find a deleted word document that came from a local church and had a name on it.
Then on February 25, 2005 they arrested Dennis Rader who was the Compliance Officer for Park City, Kansas and charged him with the BTK murders. 

I never felt at risk from having him in the house.  His main targets were women and at the time he came to the house, older women.  The strange thing is, he was my boogey man.  I stayed at my grandmother’s house a lot as a child and frequently had nightmares of the BTK coming to get me, any scratch at a window, door or creak in the house was him.  I met the boogey Man, shook hands with him, and there we were in Park City looking at a ruined hot water heater together.


  1. Very spooky! You wonder how many people you meet in a day are sociopathic psycho killers...It's a freaky thought, really. There is that Stephen King story in his latest short story collection about the women who finds out her husband is a serial killer. Totally creepy! Great post!

  2. I agree. I wonder how many killers I share a subway ride with. Or even pass on the street. Sometimes, I even ask myself - who here killed another human being? Tortured a defenseless animal? We all possess deviant traits... and some really make it a reality. Loved the post.


  3. C.W. LaSart once killed and ate an entire family of Lithuanian midgets. Maniacs are everywhere.

    Loved this post, man. One of my uncles knew Willie Pickton, the Vancouver pig-farmer maniac. He said the guy was always really creepy, but once it came out that he'd killed 50 women... kind of hard to reconcile, I'd guess.

  4. I have to agree with A.F. Stewart.. very freaky indeed.

  5. Wow! That's one hell of a story you've got there. That's the kind of tale you have to tell around a campfire, and the kind of horror that suits me. Thanks for sharing.


  6. That was seriously cool. Nobody appreciates a near miss until they've lived through one.

    Great blog...and loved the chapter in the next post.


    Kraftmatic Adjustable Blog
    #8 on the Coffin Hop


  7. Greetings fellow Coffin Hopper,

    Great story. I love the connection you made with the fact that you had met your boogeyman. Creepy. I wonder if he was thinking about killing someone while he was inspecting the water heater...

    And your list of 12 things is interesting as well. So is storm photographing the thing you went back to school for midlife?

    Happy Halloween!

    Paul D. Dail
    www.pauldail.com- A horror writer's not necessarily horrific blog

  8. This is probably the most chilling tale of the whole CoffinHop.

  9. I went back to school for teaching. I absolutely love it.

  10. Chilling! I too have been in the presence of a serial killer...it stays with you all the rest of your life...he was also a very ordinary looking man...looked like a friendly uncle type but it turned out he was a pedophile and serial killer and killed over 20 found teen girls...but when I met him...everything in me screamed to run...his eyes were soulless - they looked like a dead man's might, without a hint of life...I still have nightmares about those eyes..
    The scariest evil is the evil that masquerades as harmless and normal.
    Great post.
    - Kim
    creeping from "Wrestling the Muse"
    Happy Creepfest!

  11. Dude, that's totally bizarre. If it'd been me to have had that experience, I expect I'd require a yearly Rx of Xanax to ever get to sleep again.
    Some Dark Romantic

  12. *Had* to read this after your Childhood Monster post. Wow! You're right in not feeling threatened by him--you didn't fit the bill, haha--but still. Man, how weird it must have felt once you heard he'd been arrested and charged, eh?

  13. Whoa, that's crazy! And terrifying. What a story.

  14. Well, crap! I was thinking you meant something ironic, like a cat that killed too many mice. Shows what "assuming" accomplishes. But then, human killers have friends, family, and a neighborhood.

  15. I agree with all the comments. How do you sleep at night?

  16. I gave up on sleep many moons ago. The first couple weeks of hallucinations are tough, but then you get used to it.